I saw this movie back in November last year, before it won all the awards and was surrounded by tons of hype.

Slumdog Millionaire, Oscar Nominated

When a Mumbai teen (Dev Patel) is arrested on suspicion of cheating on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, he retells his past to show how he knows the answer to each and every question. Raised on the streets with his brother (Madhur Mittal), he tells of unfinished business between his brother and a long lost love (Freida Pinto).

Not only did I see this film before all the hype, but I knew almost nothing about its plot. When the credits came up on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire set I wondered what kind of weird, gimmicky movie I’d gotten myself into. But, it proved to be very touching, sweet, and extremely enjoyable. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when it started snatching up awards left and right, especially considering its competition.

Nominations:

Best Picture
Because The Wrestler’s not nominated here, this is my favorite film of the five. I also really enjoyed Milk and The Reader, the only two films with a chance to take this award away from Slumdog. The Academy is old-fashioned, so Slumdog’s feel good ending may give it the edge over Milk, but The Reader has been quietly rustling up its own buzz lately and could squeak past this indie darling.

Best Director – Danny Boyle
I definitely think that despite what wins Best Picture, Boyle will take home the gold on Oscar night. The Academy is honoring his career with his best film to date.

Best Adapted Screenplay
I’m a big fan of this category, but a little out of sorts as I have not read Q&A, the book that Slumdog is based on. I have, however, read The Reader and again think that this competition is between these two.

Best Cinematography
The film looks great, sure, but I don’t think it stands a chance here. Between The Dark Knight, The Reader, and Benjamin Button the competition is far too stiff to be considered.

Best Editing
Here I’ll put Slumdog down for another win. With the seamless transitions between past and present and a beautifully cut final sequence, this film deserves the win here.

Best Score
Another win. Everyone is flipping for Slumdog’s Bollywood music as it offers up something different that the Academy rarely sees here.

Best Original Song – “Jai Ho” and “O Saya”
Normally I’d say that having two nominations in the same category would split the vote, but now I’m just debating which one will win. “O Saya” is the song that plays in the beginning of the film as the children are running through the streets of Mumbai, while “Jai Ho” is the one that the entire cast dances to, Bollywood style, at the end of the film. I give the edge to “Jai Ho” for being the most recognizable, though both are great. Poor Peter Gabriel doesn’t stand a chance.

Best Sound and Best Sound Editing
I’ve stated before that I think these categories belong to The Dark Knight and WALL-E, respectively, and I don’t think that Slumdog will give them much of a run for their money. But you never know- these categories are often quite difficult to predict.

****½